The Path to Healing

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Each one of us have a different path to healing. No two paths are alike. However, our commonality lies in the fact that we are all human, we all struggle, and we all have childhood wounds of some sort that need to be worked out in order for us to heal and grow. Healing is a lifelong journey. Just when you think that you have completed this journey, it can be one random thought or song, or one major trauma or death that causes you to revisit certain areas, and then go in at a deeper level. The poem “The Path to Healing” reflects thoughts on my healing journey. God bless!

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The Path to Healing

Abandoned?

Not by His love.

Wounded by earthly doves.

Journeying through all the pain.

Dancing in sun and rain.

Forgiving for damage unknown.

Believing the good will be owned.

Entangled by triggers unfounded.

Triangled-The Trinity keeps me grounded.

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I Can’t Sleep!

sleep deprivation, trauma, PTSD, insomnia, waking up, living with and healing from trauma, brokenness, emotional health, mental health, psychology, katina horton, blogger, lifestyle

Sleep is one of those things that we can’t live without. At one time or another, we’ve all had problems sleeping. But what happens when lack of sleep starts to get the best of you? Read the poem below to find out.

I Can’t Sleep

I can’t sleep! I can’t sleep!

Do I pray or do I weep?

sleep deprivation, trauma, PTSD, insomnia, waking up, living with and healing from trauma, brokenness, emotional health, mental health, psychology, katina horton, blogger, lifestyle
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Let the music play in your head.

Rest in Jesus while in your bed.

This lack of sleep, all part of trauma.

Give him your fears and all your drama.

I can’t sleep! I can’t sleep!

“I know my child.

My grace runs deep.”

The Sleep Aspect: Living With and Healing From Trauma

sleep deprivation, trauma, PTSD, insomnia, waking up, living with and healing from trauma, brokenness, emotional health, mental health, psychology, katina horton, blogger, lifestyle

Introduction to The Sleep Aspect

We all love a good night’s sleep. When I picture falling asleep, I think about having just the right amount of flat sheets, a soft comforter, a few pillows surrounding me, just the right temperature in the house, and having sweet dreams. Just thinking about this scene would make all of us stop and long for sleep.

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Sleep can be one of the sweetest things in the world, and then on the other side of that coin, it can be that of agony for a person living with PTSD/trauma on a daily basis. There is also no rhyme or reason as to when sleep deprivation will occur.

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Photo by Matthew Henry

Breakdown of My Sleep Aspect of Trauma

Five years ago, unbeknownst to me, I entered an extremely toxic work environment. At the time, I had already been dealing with sleep issues as a side effect of the trauma of my divorce, as well as the events immediately preceding and following the divorce. I would describe the events as a crazy Lifetime movie. Unfortunately, this movie was my life. Although I was already having problems staying and falling asleep, nothing could compare to the level of sleep problems that occurred as a by-product of working at this company for nine months.

People living with PTSD/trauma often face two issues when it comes to sleep: falling asleep and staying asleep. I had and have both. During the time that I worked at this company, I would try to fall asleep around 10 pm. From 10:00 pm to 3:00 a.m, I would fall asleep for a few minutes, wake up with my teeth and whole body tense and clenched tight, and the cycle would start all over again.

Breakdown Part Two

I am going to keep it real here. The first couple of times that this happens, you find yourself trying to stay positive and you start telling yourself not to overly think about. “Don’t be concerned about the time.” However, when you have done this 5 or more times within five hours, and realize that you have only had a total of maybe one hour of sleep, and you have to get up pretty soon for work, the positivity can wear off real fast. I had to wake up at 6:00 a.m. to get ready for work, which if we all do the math, we know that this isn’t enough time for restful adequate sleep.

The toxic job, along with this vicious cycle of sleep caused major life-threatening thyroid problems, along with an overactive adrenal gland.

God granted me grace by allowing me to be let go from this toxic environment. It gave me time to heal and try to breathe again.

Sleep Aspect: What’s Going On Now

I still have issues with my sleep patterns due to trauma. They are not as frequent as they were, but they are still a problem. Last week took me clearly by surprise.

I had been suffering with sinus and allergy issues since August, and last week these issues came to a head. And guess what came with it? Sleep deprivation from trauma. I had two nights with four nights of sleep.

Then, I had one night with five nights of sleep. Just as I thought I was turning the corner, the following night was an all-nighter with only one hour of sleep at best. I nodded off for ten minutes at a time, woke up, and then stayed up for hours, with my body attempting sleep several more times.

I have to get up at 4:00 for work, and so, when this time came, and I was still awake, I reluctantly resigned to calling in and staying home. What I had to do was to give myself grace and compassion. I had to tell myself that I needed a time-out to rest, get in as many liquids as I could to help my sinus issues, and just relax. Finally, I fell asleep at 5:00 a.m. and slept until close to nine.

I would have liked to sleep until one o’clock. However, that didn’t happen. What did happen is that I literally laid down for part of the day, and sat up part of the day and allowed myself to rest physically, emotionally, and spiritually in Jesus. Sometimes we just have to admit that we are having a bad day, week, month, year, and simply REST!!!

Sleep Aspect Conclusion

Sleep deprivation from trauma is real. I won’t downplay it. However, God is also real, and he can meet us right where we are. When we have these hiccups in our schedule, the devil wants to make us think we are right back where we are. WE ARE NOT!!

Unfortunately sleep issues are a part of living with and healing from trauma on a daily basis, but it doesn’t define us. God does! And guess what? When I couldn’t sleep during the night, I had praise music playing in my head as if I had turned on a radio. Even though my feelings were telling me different, God was telling me that he was with me.

God bless and have a wonderful rest of your week!!!

What are some of the things that you do to help yourself when you are dealing with the sleep aspect of trauma?

Shutting Down

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Synopsis of Shutting Down

We all respond different when we shut down from trauma. This poem is meant to encourage you and cause you to dig deeper in order to move forward. God bless!

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Shutting Down

Shutting down.

Shutting down.

Trying hard to maintain ground.

Feeling stuck.

A little unclear.

Knowing God.

Is always near.

Look around!

Look around!

Getting close to gaining ground,

Touch and feel and know you’re here.

No numbing out.

Just feel the tears.

Challenge Question:

What are your go-to methods when you find yourself shutting down?

Episode 50: The Journey Reading

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Episode 50: The Journey Reading
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Show Notes: The Journey Reading

How many of you have gone on a journey? We take many things with us when we embark on our journeys. When you went on your journey, what did you decide to take with you?

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Photo by Matthew Henry

Sometimes, there are things that we plan to take on our journey, and other times that are things that happen to us that are totally unplanned. Today’s podcast will feature a reading from my first book. I would classify it as an autobiography/ faith journey. There were several things that happened to me on my journey. If I had a choice, I wouldn’t have planned for a lot of the things that happened to happen. However, it is through this journey that God has made me stronger, and allowed me to see that he is my only security, and that it is through his grace that I am where I am today.

God bless!

Episode 48: Helping Someone During Grief

grief, life, death, trauma, compounded trauma, Job, psychology, friends, consolation, empathy, sympathy, pain competition, katina horton, healing our brokenness, sadness

Episode 48: Helping Someone During Grief
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Podcast Show Notes

grief, life, death, trauma, compounded trauma, Job, psychology, friends, consolation, empathy, sympathy, pain competition, katina horton, healing our brokenness, sadness
Photo by Matthew Henry

Helping Someone During Grief Podcast Outline

  • Symptoms of Grief
  • Job and his Grief
  • Right and Wrong Things to Say or Do During Grief

Reflection Questions:

What are some of the cliche terms that you have said when you tried consoling someone who was grieving?

Did you say these terms to avoid feeling the other person’s pain, or in a rush for the other person to feel better?

What are alternative words that can be said to someone who is suffering?

Do you have pain competitions with others when they are grieving in order to make them have a reality check, or yourself feel better because you feel that you have it worse than them?

What changes can you make to insure that people feel loved during their time of grief?

Episode 45: Be Still: The Healing Aspect of Living with Trauma

emotional health, mental health, stillness, calmness, serenity,psychology, physical health, Peace, flowers, PTSD, trauma, healing, brokenness, emotional overload, body-mind connection, katina horton, podcaster, podcasting, lifestyle, author, writer, dissociation

Episode 45: Be Still: The Healing Aspect of Living with Trauma
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Be Still Podcast Outline

  • Definition of Still
  • Definition of Know
  • Dissection of Psalm 46: 10
  • What Happens With the Combo of Trauma and Constant Busyness
emotional health, mental health, stillness, calmness, serenity,psychology, physical health, Peace, flowers, PTSD, trauma, healing, brokenness, emotional overload, body-mind connection, katina horton, podcaster, podcasting, lifestyle, author, writer, dissociation
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Podcast Transcript:

Good afternoon! Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness, episode 45, Entitled, “Be Still:” The Healing Aspect of Living with Trauma on a Daily Basis”

What does it mean to be still?

Being still means without movement, without speech, calm, peaceful, serene.

I like to think of stillness as the act of eliminating busyness and distractions.

In Psalm 46: 10, God tells us, “Be still and know that I am God.”

To know means to be aware of through information and observation.  For us to know something or someone, we must spend time with that person or learning about that topic. If we want to know God, we must quiet our spirits, stop the striving, distractions, busyness, and do what is required to be in a relationship with him. If we want to heal from trauma, we also need a stillness to exist.

This stillness required from healing that helps us to know about our mind and body connection, can only happen when we purposefully have 2 things: time and space.

When we are busy every minute of the day, we don’t have time to know our bodies. Our bodies reveal the secrets behind our emotions.  Just recently, and recently being about 3 months ago, I started working a full-time job. After a month, I realized that I needed to tweak my schedule for the weekend.  I had to block out 3 hours on my weekend mornings in order to make sure that I could continue having my time of stillness. Without stillness, it is hard to gain clarity.

Before working full time, I had more time and space for this stillness to occur. Now, since my schedule has changed, i must be more intentional about giving myself margin.

Right before starting work with this job, I had a traumatic event to occur. Along with learning new things at work, and relearning how to drive after 30 years, I was exhibiting “ADHD-like” trauma symptoms, and having a hard time focusing.  I knew that it was only a matter of time till the emotional effects of this event would come out. My system had to be relaxed enough with stillness, and time and space to go through the steps of processing everything that had gone down.

The first symptom that was exhibited was that of nausea. I knew immediately that this was grief. And how was I able to tell that? Four years ago, when I was living at my previous residence , I became very nauseated one evening after eating.  It was the worst case ever.  I thought that I was coming down with the flu or some type of virus. It was also during this time that I had not begun to process any of the traumatic events that had occurred in the previous 3 years.  My system was on emotional and mental overload.

All of a sudden, before I knew it, I ended up regurgitating 3 to 4 times. In between each time, I felt like I needed to cry very deeply. This is how I was able to make the connection that nausea for me equals the need for grief to be released from my body.  At the time, my son asked me about the contents of what I ate that could have made me so sick. I told him that I realized that it had nothing to do with the food that I ate.

When I told my therapist about what happened, she said, “Yes, this was definitely physiological.”  

Another symptom that occurred recently is where my lips started to become numb.  I knew immediately that this represented anger that I needed to work through.  Once again, if I did not have the time within the last few years to process some of the trauma, I would not have had a clue of what was going on.  I probably would have gotten myself all worked up and anxious, perpetuating the problem.

I was then able to go to God and ask him, “What is this anger about? Is it just this traumatic event, or something else along with it?”. Having my time of stillness, and space for reflection allowed me to get to the root of the problem so that I could start healing from, it.   That anger had been coming out sideways for about 2 1/2 weeks.

Music is one of my main go-to’s for enabling me to process trauma , and so when I added more of this into my time and space, I gained even more wisdom and discernment , along with being able to release the grief from my system through crying heavily.

Changes are good.  However, changes are only fully embraced once the old has been grieved. All of the “would haves”, “should haves”, and “not any more’s”. If you are having problems healing from trauma, ask yourself if you are allowing yourself the time and space of sitting in God’s stillness.  The pain, loneliness, and loss have to be grieved. I don’t want to mislead you. There will be pain in this process. There’s no way to go around it. And I promise you, if there was, everyone would be signing up for it. There is God’s grace, mercy, and presence there.  And it is very much needed. It is also in this stillness that our mind, body, soul, and spirit will begin to reveal the answers to our questions. It will help us to lead the way and or continue our journey to a life of thriving.

First, try starting off with one hour of lying down without any distractions and see if you can notice the difference of what this new stillness brings. Initially, it will feel very uncomfortable because you will want to quickly fill up your time with busyness. However, this quiet time will begin to declutter your mind and allow you to get to the root of your issues, along with the help a therapist.

I hope that “Episode 45: ‘Be Still: The Healing Aspect Of Living With Trauma’” has been beneficial to you in some way. If Healing Our Brokenness is making a difference in your life, please leave a review, tag a friend, and give a shout out on social media. God bless! Have a wonderful week!

Recovery

Background on Recovery: When you are recovering from PTSD/trauma, it requires a lot of in-depth work. This poem depicts just that. You have to regain your sense of self, learn to listen to your body for its story, and be still with patience as God does his work.

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Recovery

It’s recovery. It’s recovery.

It requires lots of discovery.

What I think.

What I feel.

What my body tells me is real.

I’ll be still.

Know he’s God.

Do the work.

Though it’s hard.

It’s recovery. It’s recovery.

God is there.

In this discovery.

Episode 33: Praying During Desperate Times

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Episode 33: Praying During Desperate Times
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Praying During Desperate Times Podcast Outline

  • Introduction
  • What Happened to Hannah
  • My Situation
  • Podcast Transcript
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Photo by Brodie Vissers

How many of you have had times like myself, where you’ve carried around a heavy load, done all that you can do in a certain situation, prayed several times over the situation, and yet you still feel like you’re not sure of how to proceed.  You end up being stuck in between a rock and a hard place.  We know that the bottom line is that God is in control.  Even with that, sometimes our hearts still remain heavy.

This was pretty much what Hannah had to go through.  Hannah was barren, and every year when she went to give worship and sacrifice to the Lord, her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, would taunt her to the point of fear because God had shut up her womb.  We all know that fear is from Satan himself.  

And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb.  So it went on year by year.  As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore, Hannah wept and would not eat.  (I Samuel 1: 6-7, ESV)

Hannah’s heart was so heavy, that she went before God’s throne of grace, pleading to God to open her womb:  “And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son,

then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth.  (I Samuel 1: 11-12, ESV)

Hannah was so intentional with her prayers, that her mouth moved, but her prayers were submitted to God through her heart and her spirit.  She was on a mission.  Eli the priest thought that she was drunk:

Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman.  And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.”  But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit.  I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.  Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” (I Samuel 1: 13-16, ESV)

It was at this point that God gave Hannah a sign through Eli that he had heard her cry, and her prayers would be answered:

Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.  (I Samuel 1: 17, ESV)

And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. And the child was young.  Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.  And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am

the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord.  For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.   Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.”  And he worshiped the Lord there.

(I Samuel 1: 24-28, ESV)

About six years ago, when I was at the peak of my valley, everything in my home was in an uproar.  I had done everything that I could possibly do, been taken advantage of, and with a heavy heart, I went to the Lord for help in a prostrate position.  I felt led to write out the prayer that King Jehoshaphat prayed in 2 Chronicles 20:

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.”  (KJV)

God laid it upon my heart to pray this prayer for the next forty days.  As the days went on, spiritual warfare hit from every corner.  I was on a mission, and I continued to pray.  My friend and I decided to get together to pray on one accord with this same prayer New Year’s Eve night. 

Our kids were upstairs hanging out, and we were downstairs praying.  The kids came downstairs a few times to grab food and were looking at us as if we were crazy. But just like Hannah, we kept praying.  We prayed this prayer so hard and so long till our mouths dried out, and we could no longer talk. 

Like Hannah, we needed an answer.  We joked around about whose prayer God would answer first.  And as in Hannah’s situation, God answered our requests.  My prayer was answered thirteen days later.  I don’t remember how quickly God answered hers.  It was soon after.  God split the Red Sea so that I could leave the Egypt of a toxic marriage.  Praise God for his word and his promises!

Dear Lord,

Thank you for your word and your promises.  Thank you that when our hearts are heavy with grief, you are still there.  You never change.  You are the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Please comfort our hearts when we just don’t know what to do, knowing that you are in control, and will give us instructions when the time is right.

In your precious name we pray,

Amen

Last episode

The Music Aspect: Living With & Healing From Trauma

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Today, I am featuring another aspect in the “Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis” series. This aspect is that of music. Music can have several effects. It can make you go from feeling relaxed to nervous, anxious, and scared, and then switch over to anger, frustration, and sadness in a heartbeat.

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Photo by Samantha Hurley

Whether you are suffering with trauma/PTSD or not, listening to music can take you back to twenty years of memories that can feel like it was yesterday. Our emotions get stirred, and if we are not careful, we can start riding the waves. You can start thinking about old relationships and all sorts of things.

When it comes to music and PTSD, it can be both a good and bad thing, depending upon the situation. If the music is loud and harsh, with screaming involved, it can cause you to have the trauma symptoms of irritation, dissociation, and anxiety.

Unfortunately, I have experienced all of these. About five years ago, my son was listening to some metal Christian music. I had to ask him to turn it down, then off. It was just too much. The screaming caused the Fear Aspect of Trauma to settle in. I started to feel unsettled in my spirit, along with feeling agitation and anxiousness.

Whether you are listening to loud or soft music, if you haven’t processed memories that are associated with a particular song, you may not be able to tolerate that song or style of music for a while. You’ll usually know if you can tolerate the song/style because you will be able to listen to it without any problems. If the song is intolerable, you usually end up with bad flashbacks or dissociation.

Just recently, I realized that I am fully able to enjoy gospel music again. Starting in 2013, it became hit or miss. Gospel music is associated with attending a missionary baptist church as a kid, leading the choir with my ex-husband, praise dancing, and my roots in general. In order for me to truly appreciate it again, I had to process the important events that this genre held close to my heart. The events weren’t just from one particular time period. They were spread across years.

Recently, my friend invited me to two gospel concerts she performed in. I felt like I was back in the church that I attended as a kid. I knew that this genre had helped me to place the piece of puzzle of my identity in this area back to where it belonged.

Music from the 70s and 80s is also some of my favorites. When I listen to this music, it causes ambivalence. Why? This time period represents a life of simpler times. I have relatives that were alive then, and no longer alive. Community was food, dancing, talking, and enjoying one another’s company. Sometimes, I find myself dancing and crying at the same time.

The more I listen to it, the better it gets. However, I still have moments of extreme grief from trauma, as well as joy at the same time because these memories will forever be in my heart.

How has the music aspect affected your PTSD? Would love to hear your thoughts!